Of Coffee, Condolences and Hugs

If you were having coffee with me we would be having a cuppa ginger and honey tea, I am trying to soothe away a cold and bring some warmth into my life, after several days of a funeral wake and the burial of a dearly departed uncle.

lemon tea

“Nematambudziko” that is the Shona translation for my condolonces; the standard response is “Akaoonekwa”  which literally translates to they we were witnessed. To be honest I have never really understood what it all means and when someone says that, I try to look appropriately grief-stricken enough as I mumble a response back and wriggle myself out of hugs and evading invasive personal questions, we grieve in our own ways and life, well it goes on………

If you were having coffee with me, I would ask you that unless someone where bereaved is there a standard length of time that is acceptable for a hug? Some people hug you like they are channeling their inner kidnapper holding you down so that you can never ever leave ………forever….

If you were having coffee with me, I would ask you if you remember the Colcom pie I menationed in my last Coffee Chat  well guess what the company released its first official statement on their product:

Pork Payi?

“In August 2015 Colcom commissioned a new, largely automated plant to replace its previous aged and inefficient plant to increase production capacity required to meet the increase in demand….. While it was anticipated that the new plant would be able to produce similar pies, in practice this was found not to be the case.”

“Whilst maintaining the original Colcom pie has been the objective since the commissioning of the new pie plant…….”
“And we have committed significant resources to achieve this result including seeking the assistance of international technical experts, it has until now not been possible to replicate all aspects of that product.

Three years since they commissioned a new plant production has trebled while the quality has gone done, I guess its a matter of quantity over quality and watching the zeros in the bank add up………

If you were having coffee with me, I would tell you the election madness is here, I just got an sms from an aspiring candidate which not only asks me to vote for them but addresses me by name as a fellow comrade and I am busy trying to wrap around how they got my name and number and if someone somewhere is violating some privacy codes of conduct or did I agree to this in those terms and conditions I never got round to actually reading

Have an awesome week ahead

~B

PS so by some fortuitous turn of events I got me some four free movie passes and now I am struggling with wether I should

A) take four friends to see one movie

B) take one friend to see two movies

C) take two different friends to two different movie each

D) go watch four movies all by myself

Decisions decisions what would would you do?

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Of Free Fair and Credible Elections

voting
Free Fair and Credible Elections
This is a phrase that has been, and will be repeated especially now that the President of Zimbabwe Emmerson Mnangagwa has finally announced the date of the 2018 harmonised elections. On the 30th of July 2018 Zimbabwe will decide, and for the first time since our independence 18 April 1980, Robert Mugabe will not be at the helm of the ruling party but of course the same party ZANU PF will be contesting/defending its claim under the interim incumbent President Emmerson Mnangagwa.

What does it mean: Free, fair and Credible elections?
First of all, most people seem not to be aware that the elections are not an event but a process of varied elements throughout the electoral cycle and in the case of Zimbabwe this cycle is 5 years.

electoral cycle

Electoral Cycle

Free
Free is defined as unrestricted, without coercion; having freedom to vote for preferred candidate without fear
absence voter intimidation/ political violence

Fair
Fair is defined as balanced or without favour or prejudice; having equal right to register; contest or vote for preferred candidate
when everyone is given a chance to vote/ register, without discrimination; provisions for those who might experience difficulties in voting, equal coverage of contesting candidates on state media

Credible
Credible is a word which means something that can be trusted and believed; credible elections are defined as being transparent and accountable
sufficient Civic education on voter registration and voting, monitoring, inspection of voters roll, Election Observers
Its unfortunate the role Observers is misunderstood and a lot of expectations is heaped up on them when their role is mainly to observe comprehensively through established methodologies, to document; the good, highlight shortcomings and offer recommendations they are not legislative bodies.

This is not the full scope of what consists free fair and credible elections its simply a tentative attempt to familiarise myself with this phrase used and abused.  One won’t need to have a degree or anything sophisticated to see that at a glance one could easily pick out red flags that could affect the degree to which the elections are free, fair and credible……

There has been issues with civic education, especially after implementing a new biometric voter registration, citizens where unfamiliar with; reports have cropped up of challenges with checking voters role, the coverage on state media is skewed in favour of the ruling party leaving the majority of contenders to rely on social media and external broadcasting houses, there’s been violence, both intra-party and inter-party….. should we even talk about how an election date is finally announced today with 2 months to go just barely within the minimum range set by constitution,

Clearly these elections wont quite be free fair or credible but they might be far much better than the previous ones where posting an article like this on my blog would have been to invite scrutiny…..

All I hope for is whatever happens at the very least let it all resolve peacefully………..

zim decides
~B

PhotoCredit: Electoral Cycle Chat: ResearchGate